We’ve all seen the side-by-side videos showing off the similarities between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant by now. However, it seems Jayson Tatum shares a similar playstyle to Bryant, as the two worked out together before Bryant’s tragic death.
Thanks to Tomasz Kordylewski, there is a YouTube clip proving how similar Tatum’s playstyle is to Kobe’s back in 2018. Now, in 2021, Tatum continues to show off his skills as he steadily improves his game every year.
Jayson Tatum just had an insane regular season in which he averaged 25.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game, all of which are career highs. He’s already considered a superstar in the league, even with room to grow. The Boston Celtics’ star forward is just getting started, as his future looks bright.
During Tuesday night’s game against the Washington Wizards, Tatum gave his best Kobe Bryant impression, unloading on the Wizards for 50 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Bryant always stepped his game up during the biggest moments and after seeing Tatum do the same, we felt it was necessary to rank Tatum’s most Kobe Bryant-esque games of his career.
3. Tatum’s 53 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves
Sure, the Timberwolves were eliminated from playoff contention well before the regular season came to an end, but Tatum showed out against them in early April. The Celtics were down throughout most of the game, but thanks to Tatum’s hot hand, Boston came back and took the game to overtime.
The Celtics star forward did whatever he wanted during the second half of the game, as well as overtime. He secured 53 total points by the end of the night, which at the time was the most points scored by a Celtic since Larry Bird in 1985. Boston wound up winning the game, as Jayson Tatum led them to victory.
2. Dominant performance in the NBA’s first play-in game
We’ve already briefly mentioned Tuesday night’s game against the Wizards, but it has to make the list. It was do-or-die time for the Boston Celtics and their superstar player stepped up when they needed him the most.
Tatum was a machine during this game as he lit up the Wizards for 50 points. Washington had no answers for Tatum, which allowed him to score at will. Washington wasn’t ready for Tatum’s scoring, as he took advantage of mismatches throughout the evening. Something we’re all too familiar with watching Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career.
1. The impossible comeback and tying the franchise record
During a regular-season game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Boston Celtics found themselves down by 32 points entering halftime. Tatum went off in the second half, illuminating the Spurs for 60 points and stealing a victory away from San Antonio. Not only did Tatum help win the game, but his 60 points tied Larry Bird’s franchise record for most points scored in a single game.
The comeback was the third-largest in NBA history. When a team is up by 30+ points, it’s typically chalked up as a loss, but for Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics, they proved otherwise and won the game. Kobe Bryant never gave up during his time in the NBA and Tatum took that to heart. At just 23 years old, Jayson Tatum’s career is just getting started.